What’s wrong with PG-13?

One of the two movies which resulted in the creation of this rating

One of the two movies which resulted in the creation of this rating

In recent discussions with other writers, I’d be asked what I was currently working on. I’d mention the western and mystery specs, and give a thumbnail description for each.

Among the responses I’ve come to expect is usually the follow-up question:  “Who’s your target audience for that?”

Everybody.

While what I write would probably be too much for very small children, there’s no reason it couldn’t be enjoyed by anyone between 8 and 108, as the saying goes.

In addition to all the usual criteria, I want to make sure the story is interesting enough so it would appeal to a wide spectrum of viewers, as well as keeping the content dead-center on that fine line between “not enough” and “too much.”

One writer sent back his notes on the western. He had some very good comments, but some of them seemed to be through a DJANGO UNCHAINED filter (which he also admitted being influenced by). It was suggested I go for a more intense level of violence in some scenes.

Which would be fine if I were writing something that was a hard ‘R’, but this isn’t.

I’m just more of the family-friendly sort, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing that kind of material. (FROZEN has earned $350.7 million so far. Not too shabby, with the sing-along version ready to be unleashed.)

Although I want my stories to be fun and exciting, it’s also important to me they respect the audience’s intelligence, no matter what age they are, while also being fairly easy to follow.

I appreciate it when a movie does that, and hope to keep the practice going.

4 Responses to What’s wrong with PG-13?

  1. my ideas are similar in that sense, Z – think you are on the money!

  2. ThothScribe says:

    Hmmm… You should have let me know you were going for a PG-13 or less before I read your script. I probably would not have made the “more violence” comment on your script. You’re right, it’s a very good thing to know which audience you are going for. If it’s for a 4-quad audience, you should write for that audience. If you are going for a more mature audience, then you need elements that talks to that audience.

    For me there is nothing wrong with PG-13 as there is nothing wrong with a “R” movie. Either one should not insult the audience’s intelligence as long as the movie is written for that particular audience.

    • Maximum Z says:

      No problem. I originally thought that would come across in the script itself, which has since been rewritten a bit.

      Thanks for coming back to take a look! Drop me a line – we’ll catch up in person again.

      • Carlos Mora says:

        Yes, it would be cool to meet up again and catch up.

        On Sun, Nov 16, 2014 at 12:45 PM, Maximum Z wrote:

        > Maximum Z commented: “No problem. I originally thought that would come > across in the script itself, which has since been rewritten a bit. Thanks > for coming back to take a look! Drop me a line – we’ll catch up in person > again.”

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